Hickman Talks "Siege: Secret Warriors"

When former S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury first learned that agents of the shape shifting Skull Empire were conducting a "Secret Invasion" of Earth, the master spy realized that he needed to recruit allies he could trust. Fury worried that the Marvel Universe's hero and intelligence communities had been infiltrated by Skrulls, so he recruited a group of young people who the aliens had not yet discovered. These weren't just random recruits, though; they were second and third generation super powered youths, all of who had developed their abilities due to the altered genetics of a family member.

After the "Secret Invasion," Fury drafted his young charges into another war, one which writer Jonathan Hickman is chronicling in the monthly "Secret Warriors" series. In the current event "Siege," Norman Osborn, who twisted Fury's beloved S.H.I.E.L.D. into a new group called H.A.M.M.E.R., has declared war on Asgard, the home of the Norse pantheon. In "Siege" #3, in stores now, Fury and his team joined the Avengers in their defense of Asgard, and on April 14, Hickman and artist Alessandro Vitti give readers a closer look at how Fury and company will be affected by the battle in the "Siege: Secret Warriors" one-shot. CBR News spoke with Hickman about the project.

CBR News: Jonathan, How did "Siege: Secret Warriors" come about? Was it your decision to tell the story as a one-shot, so as not disturb the flow of your ongoing story in the regular "Secret Warriors" book?

Jonathan Hickman: We are doing them as one-shots because that's the Siege-sized hole in the publishing schedule. [Editor Tom] Brevoort told me that Marvel was going to produce these and that there would be a "Secret Warriors" one. We're on a pretty firm schedule/timeline regarding "Secret Warriors" proper, and I jumped at the chance to essentially get not only an extra issue, but double ship in a month.

Everything is about momentum at this point.

Speaking of momentum, since "Siege Secret Warriors" is a tie-in to a high profile event, some new readers might be interested in checking the book out. How new reader friendly is "Siege: Secret Warriors?"

Ha! It's probably the most reader friendly issue we've produced this year. A first for "Secret Warriors."

What can you tell us about the physical settings for this story?

The issue primarily takes place in two locations: Asgard and the White House, and it focuses mostly on Phobos and the Fury, Captain America relationship. It takes place over a couple hours. It's very immediate.

Readers of "Siege" #2 know that Phobos' father, Ares the God of War, was slain by the Sentry. Many of us are wondering, just how big a part does Phobos play in "Siege: Secret Warriors?"

The biggest. The issue is primarily about him.

Does this story involve any of the other supporting or main players from "Secret Warriors," or is the action all about Nick and the kids facing down Norman Osborn's army?

This is just the main team, the guys we started with back in "Secret Warriors" #1. They're up against Norman and his guys and maybe some Secret Service agents - and falling pieces of Asgard.

Let's talk a little bit about the perspectives of the team. How do they feel going into the conflict that is "Siege?" They've already been involved in one of the Marvel Universe's biggest conflicts, "Secret Invasion," so is the Siege of Asgard just another mission for them, or are they experiencing some extra trepidation?

Sure. Aliens are scary, I guess. They were in over their head in "Secret Invasion," but really, they were also pretty clueless. Young and dumb. A lot has happened since then. Personal tragedy and trauma - they are more aware of both the stakes and the costs. And these are gods. I'm guessing there's plenty of pants peeing going on.

Your collaborator on "Siege: Secret Warriors" is Alessandro Vitti, who you worked with on the "God of Fear, God of War" arc of "Secret Warriors," which ran through issues #7-10. What's it like to be working with Alessandro again?

Alessandro's strong. He's doing solid work and really making the book work for him and for the reader. His work is really moody when it needs to be, open when it doesn't. Alessandro's got some game, and it's good getting to work with him.

How would you describe the tone and feel of "Siege: Secret Warriors?" Is this the usual spy, action-thriller type stories you tell in "Secret" Warriors," or is this a different type of tale?

This is probably the most action-y story we've done so far. It's very open and all about characters in moments, not the heavy, plot-centered, spy stuff we normally do.

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